The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) is encouraging Washington area Hispanic residents to participate in its 2011-2012 Household Travel Survey. The survey collects and analyzes daily travel behavior from nearly 5,000 households within geographic sub areas in the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. Spanish-language speakers were underrepresented in the previous Regional Household Travel Survey taken in 2007-2008.

“In order to get an accurate picture of how people travel in our region, we need all area residents to participate in this survey,” said Muriel Bowser, District of Columbia Council member and TPB chairman. “It’s especially important that our data reflects fast growing population groups like the region’s Hispanic residents.”

This year’s survey includes geographic areas with large Hispanic populations such as Woodbridge and the Purple Line International Corridor (Langley Park area). Participants are selected randomly and surveys are conducted in English and Spanish.  The first round of interviewing is underway and will continue through mid-November. The survey is confidential and personal information is not shared with others.

Data collected in this survey will assist in transportation planning efforts to ensure that local road and public transit networks are able to meet the region’s growing travel demands. Major transportation improvements are underway or under consideration (the Purple Line in the Langley Park area, the I-95 HOT lanes, and potential VRE service expansion in the Woodbridge area, for example), and it is important to collect information on household travel before such projects begin.

Arlington County used the TPB’s survey instrument to produce their recent report on the County’s travel patterns. The TPB hopes that this unique data collection and analysis will eventually be conducted on an annual basis to supplement the American Community Survey, which will only report data for smaller communities every five years.